Mr. REID. Mr. President, the bill just passed by House Republicans tonight is a pointless, partisan exercise. The bill is dead on arrival. It was dead before it got to the Senate. The Senate will not pass it. The sooner we demonstrate that, the sooner we can begin serious discussions on how to keep taxes from going up on middle-class Americans. Democrats were ready to vote tonight to prove that the bill was DOA, dead on arrival. But I spoke to Minority Leader McConnell this evening, and he told me he will need more time. He will not be able to make a decision until tomorrow morning on when to vote on the House-passed bill. I cannot set the vote without his approval at this time.
This is a 180-degree change in his position from just a few hours ago. Just this morning, Senator McConnell said we should ``take up the House bill, pass it right here in the Senate, and send it to the President for signature without theatrics and without delay.'' That is a direct quote. I repeat, he said we should vote on this bill ``without delay.'' He is correct, and I can only wonder what happened in the last 8 hours to change his position so dramatically, so radically. As I said, we already know this bill is dead. We need to begin real negotiations on how to prevent a $1,000 tax hike on American families. The sooner we get this vote, the sooner those negotiations can begin in earnest.
I will speak with Senator McConnell again tomorrow to determine how soon we can hold this vote--an exercise in futility. Work continues toward finalizing an omnibus to fund the government for the rest of the year. In the meantime we should not hold up this middle-class tax cut.
On January 1, every American worker will have less money. In fact, 160 million American workers will have less money to spend on groceries and gas and rent unless Congress acts on their behalf.
T.S. Eliot said it about as good as I could figure a way to say it, when he said: ``Hurry up please, it's time.'' END